It's hard to believe it's already the 4th of July! What images come to mind? Fireworks? Backyard BBQ's? Parades? The Declaration of Independence? One common theme to any 4th of July event is the American Flag. Have you heard of Elizabeth Griscom? No? How about Betsy Ross? Griscom was Betsy's maiden name, and she was one tough cookie! According to history, she was one of 17 siblings, was disowned by the Quaker congregation, survived 3 husbands, had 7 daughters (only 5 survived), and she still had the creativity and time to design and sew the first American Flag! Betsy started out as an upholster apprentice, where she met her first husband, John Ross. They would eventually elope and start their own upholstery business.
Apparently, Betsy was shown an initial drawing of a proposed flag design, but she thought it needed some improvements in dimensions as well as a star overhaul. In her words, she said, "A flag should be one third longer than it's width." The scattered stars also bothered her. She suggested they have five points and be in a line or a circle. She was a designer from day one! Like many of us, she learned to sew from an older, female relative. In her case, it was her great-aunt. Passing down sewing skills from generation to generation is still alive and well today, even if it isn't as popular as it was in 1776. So keep that tradition going and pass along your sewing skills!
Happy Birthday America, and thank you Betsy Ross for your "mad skills" in designing and sewing. Have a safe and fun July 4th everyone!
The Sew Steamboat Team,
Nancy, Carol, Lynn, Donna, LA, Blair, Kathleen, Cindy and Cho
TNNA Summer 2016
In May, Lynn and Blair had the pleasure of attending the Salt Lake City Quilt Show, and in June, I was able to attend TNNA's (The National Needlearts Assocation) 2016 Summer Trade Show in Washington, D.C. This trade show is for wholesalers to show off new and existing products to retailers. They also host business and technique classes. In addition, specialty groups (yarn, retailers, spinners, etc.) have meetings to discuss current industry trends and challenges.
Wow was it ever fun to attend for the first time. I took a social media class, using photography in social media class, "the changing world of the LYS" class, and finally a newsletter class (just to make sure we are doing all right!) I took a picture with my newsletter instructor (Gwen Bortner) - as she jokingly said, "I'm famous! Put this in your newsletter!" So here it is. We did have a great time and I learned so much in her session as well as the other classes, especially from other shop owners.
Market was a LOT of walking, but it was so worth it to see all the new, creative and fun products. In my "travels", I stopped at the Coco Knits booth. Turns out, one of their owners is going to be spending time in Steamboat. I loved their products, and we now have some of their wares on order. I also brought back some yarn that you hand dye yourself (very easy and lots of fun!) We're hoping to have this in the shop this fall. Finally, I ordered some Arne & Carlos self-striping sock yarn (Regia) that will arrive in August. Stay tuned to Facebook for when new arrivals hit the shop.
It's always nice to get out and learn new industry trends, see new products, and bring that knowledge back to Sew Steamboat to share with you, our friends and customers.
I have fallen in love with Berroco Mykonos yarn. A silky blend of linen, cotton, and nylon knits up beautiful garments and accessories with a wonderful drape that are perfect for any weather! The pattern book #368 Berroco Mykonos offers many modern, minimal, and timeless garments to knit, throw on and wear with ease. At the moment, I am finishing up the pattern Doria, which is a stripped top knitted with two colors (mine: silver and burgundy.) I am hoping that she will be ready by the 4th of July! Next pattern on my list? Odele!
A few tips on knitting with this unique yarn: Mykonos is very slippery and thin, but sturdy. Hand winding is recommended, as most yarn winders will not be able to hold the yarn together in shape. You may also want to use wood or bamboo needles (rather than metal) as this type of needle may hold the stitches better without slipping. Lastly, use a needle protector when project is at rest to avoid dropped stitches.
Enjoy Mykonos and do share your project with us at Sew Steamboat via Facebook or email. We'd love to see the finished results!